A reader has questioned my “hang up” with the jewish sexuality.com website, and suggests I should more productively channel my energy by protesting against the latest round of “peace talks.”
First of all, I have already explained that I don’t write very much about the political situation in Israel because most of my readers live in the Diaspora and they, by and large, don’t have any influence on what takes place in Israel, so what purpose would it serve? It would be like delivering a bombastic speech in an empty room. So, in the time and space allotted to me in this blog, I try to concentrate on matters that can have a real impact on people’s lives. One of these things is encouraging aliyah by showing the many spiritual advantages of living in Israel; and another focus is on living a healthy and holy sexual life, which someone can do wherever he or she lives.
Why focus on sex and not on Shabbat or learning Torah? That’s a fair question. On one hand, I suppose it has something to do with my background and my discovering how damaging sexual transgression is to one’s body and soul, to one’s spouse, and to one’s children. Also, with the widespread use and incredible speed of the Internet, a person can fall prey, in a matter of split seconds, to the most horrible habits and addiction, polluting his holy Jewish soul and cutting him off from G-d. And today, this terrible danger has infiltrated our holy Jewish homes, a finger-click away.
Never have the Jewish People been exposed to such a devastating plague. And if you pretend that this problem doesn’t affect you and your children, you are very, very deluded.
Are you sure you know what your children are watching?
Our Sages have repeatedly warned us that the Holy One Blessed Be He hates immodesty and licentiousness more than anything else. Among other things, improper sexual behavior causes exile from our Land. Masters of the secrets of Torah emphasize that sexual immorality is the prime cause of most of the tragedies, afflictions, and plagues which fall on individuals, and on the Jewish Nation as a whole.
And if you say, “Well, I only look at some girly pictures now and again, what’s the big deal with that?” well, my good friend, you are deceiving yourself, or perhaps you simply haven’t learned about the serious Torah infractions you are transgressing, and the devastating consequences of your behavior on yourself and your family. And while not everyone falls prey to the wiles of Bilaam and Amalek so accessible today in our homes, a vast uncountable amount of our People are victims to the disease.
For this reason, I joined with a few well-meaning, G-d fearing tzaddikim to initiate the jewishsexuality.com website in order to educate people to the great dangers of sexual laxity and error.
In the Haftorah this past Shabbat, we read about Isaiah’s great vision of the Redemption of Israel. The prophecy ends: “The smallest one shall become a thousand, and the youngest shall become a mighty nation – I, the L-rd, even within the appointed time would bring it about in haste” (Isaiah, 54:22).
Relying on this verse, our Sages explain that the awaited Redemption - when the Jewish People will be re-established in the Land of Israel, triumphant over their enemies, and living a life of Torah who’s teaching will be beamed throughout the world, elevating mankind to the service of G-d - this magnificent climax of our history can come about in two ways: either in its appointed time, or in haste. If it comes in its appointed time, the time the Almighty decreed upon the commencement of the exile, then it will come with great sufferings and tribulations, through a seemingly “natural” historical chain of events, including terrible oppressions and wars. If, on the other hand, the Jewish People turn back to G-d in repentance, the Almighty will hasten the End of the exile, ushering in the Redemption with open miracles, in a glorious and joyous manner.
To all appearances today, we are undergoing the first process of the Redemption, in its appointed time, with our return to nationhood in Israel, marked by the horrible nightmare of the Holocaust and the wars which followed in the Land of Israel against hordes of cruel enemies, may all of the haters of G-d and His Chosen Nation be erased!
However, there is always the possibility and promise that G-d will yet hasten our salvation if we seize the initiative and turn back to the Torah and to our Land. What is the key?
If Wikipedia were to ask Torah scholars to compile a list of the top ten influential Rabbis of the last 300 years, certainly the Gaon of Vilna, otherwise known as the “Gra,” or the Vilna Gaon, would appear on everyone’s list. In more cases than not, his name would probably be found in the top five slots, and on a great many lists, the famous Vilna Gaon would no doubt be number one.
The Gaon writes that the Redemption will come speedily, in haste, if the Jewish People are true to the laws of sexual holiness, known as “Shmirat HaBrit,” the guarding of the covenant (See the commentary of the “Gra” to the “Tikunei Zohar,” Tikun 21, Folio 56, Column 3). Our whole speedy Redemption, free of suffering and pain, is dependent on this.
From his words, we learn the great importance of sexual holiness. This is the reason that I frequently write about “Shmirat HaBrit” and encourage readers to study the many informative articles, and questions and answers, posted on the jewishsexuality.com website, including English translations of many profound essays written by revered Kabbalists and masters of Torah throughout the ages. You will also find sections dealing with pornography addiction, selections from the holy Zohar, and an overview of Rabbi Kook’s writings on the subject of t’shuva.
Clicking on to the jewishsexuality website is also a worthwhile rectification and tikun for the times that the little devil of a mouse tempted us into clicking on things that G-d doesn’t want us to see.
This Elul, as Rosh HaShanah approaches, jewishsexuality.com should be a part of everyone’s t’shuva.
As for the "peace talks" - the outcome doesn't depend on Bibi and Obama. It depends on us.